Four major Abu Dhabi infrastructure partners signed a collaboration agreement today to support the growth of AGWA (AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance), the UAE capital’s new food and water cluster which will play a leading role in global efforts to tackle food shortages and water scarcity. Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC, Abu Dhabi Airports Company PJSC, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), and Masdar City will collaborate with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to foster an enabling environment for AGWA cluster companies.

Led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), AGWA is set to become a global hub for novel food and ingredients, as well as for technologies that increase access to water resources and enable their efficient utilisation. This innovative cluster is meticulously designed to support local suppliers and exporters alike, serving as a platform to maximise commercial opportunities. The cluster aims to meet increasing global demand, alleviate pressures on agricultural systems, address shifting dietary patterns, capitalise on technological advancements, and support global food security, ensuring a reliable and resilient supply chain for food and water.

Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC, Abu Dhabi Airports Company PJSC, ADDC, and Masdar City bring extensive expertise across logistics, energy supply, sustainability, and business and technology facilitation. They will work with ADIO to provide essential infrastructure for AGWA cluster companies to operate efficiently and drive innovation.

By leveraging the key infrastructure partners, Abu Dhabi will be able to establish a globally recognised food and water cluster that supports pioneers to develop new innovations in alternative proteins, algae, and reverse osmosis technologies, and enable them to enhance traditional food and water production and supply. The emirate will also focus on strengthening the route to market by improving agricultural value along with enhancing supply chain and retail distribution. A key focus of AGWA will be the development of frameworks to support businesses engaged in cutting-edge research, the adoption of non-traditional business models, and the production of novel food in support of the global drive to tackle shortages and scarcity.

Badr Al-Olama, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), said: “Our partnership with key infrastructure partners is crucial to aligning efforts with AGWA cluster companies to establish Abu Dhabi as a global leader in the development, commercialisation and export of transformative solutions in the food and water industry.”

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said, “Through KEZAD, AD Ports Group is contributing towards the National Food Security Strategy 2051 by supporting projects aligned with the directives of our leadership towards further enhancing food production and empowering local initiatives. The launch of the AGWA Cluster reflects our commitment towards transforming the global food supply chain by leveraging technology and forging partnerships. We are pleased to join hands with leading stakeholders in the food and water supply chain to address the growing need for sustainable and resilient food and water systems, while positioning Abu Dhabi as a leader in the food and AgTech landscape.”

Elena Sorlini, Managing Director and CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports said, "Abu Dhabi has cultivated a dynamic ecosystem that fosters innovation, sustainability, and commerce. At Abu Dhabi Airports, through our subsidiary Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ), we are strategically positioned to drive the expansion of regional and international trade, further enhancing Abu Dhabi's global connectivity. This growth will play a crucial role in amplifying the flow of imports and exports, laying a solid groundwork for Abu Dhabi to strengthen its global trade relations while unlocking new avenues for business and investment opportunities at the nexus of the food and water sectors—an essential step towards achieving global sustainable development goals."

Ahmed Baghoum, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar City, said, "We are proud to be part of this coalition, as it represents a significant step towards establishing the AGWA cluster in Abu Dhabi. Masdar City is committed to advancing Abu Dhabi’s sustainable economic framework, and this initiative aligns with our goals. Our free zone team in Masdar City is dedicated to providing the support and resources necessary for the success of AGWA cluster companies. We are eager to contribute to creating an environment that supports food security, water and sustainable growth in Abu Dhabi."

“Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of addressing critical global challenges through visionary initiatives. The launch of AGWA marks a significant step forward as we collaborate with our partners to set new benchmarks for innovation in food and water security. This initiative not only fosters substantial economic growth and job creation but also underscores our dedication to sustainability, technological progress, and economic diversification, building a resilient future for generations to come,” said His Excellency Saeed Al Suwaidi, ADDC Chief Executive Officer.

AGWA taps into a mega AED77.4 trillion industry with immense potential for economic growth and job creation. By 2045, AGWA is expected to contribute AED 90 billion in incremental GDP to Abu Dhabi’s economy, creating 62,000 new jobs and attracting AED128 billion in investments.

The cluster builds on Abu Dhabi’s leadership in advanced food and water production methods, as well as its strong traditional farming base. Abu Dhabi is home to more than 24,000 farms, of which 50% are in the Al Ain region. Over recent years, ADIO has partnered with many innovative food and water companies focussed on developing solutions for desert and arid climates.